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Review: party

This humorous play on politics (for once) will leave you wanting more!


“witty”, “light-hearted” and “comical”: director, Tom Barry, certainly knows how to throw a party!

Set in a quaint and crowded shed, four young political idealists gather to set up their very own political party. Their newest fifth member, Duncan (Eva Shepard), is both excited and surprised at his invitation to the meeting. He soon finds out however that his welcome does not seem to extent further than the need for his dad’s marketing skills, leading him to be more interested in indulging in the lemon drizzle cake than a political career.  As rivalries unfold over who should be the leader of the party, an unexpected contender arises from the mix. And to give you a clue his first proposal of presidency is “Let’s start with cake”.

Image credits: Andreas Marcou

Whilst the staging remained somewhat continuous throughout the performance, the sheer number of props emulates the disorganisation and chaos of the meeting. Some may argue that this approach simply embodies the political fragmentation that exists in society today and was cleverly designed by the creative team.

The pace and energy of the performance began high, but was lost in moments during the middle. This however did not take away from the well-executed and comedic nature of the play which gave light to sensitive topics such as sexism and politics.

Image credits: Andreas Marcou

Whilst his role was brief, the audience was left wanting more following Jacob Coughlan’s appearance as Short Coat. The timing of his delivery was clearly well-received by the audience, and his ‘short coat’ added another underlying layer of humour. The sheer quantity of lines from all characters is also something to marvel at. Their quick and witty delivery draws attention to the clear effort and practise it has taken these actors to perfect their performances. This cast of 5 clearly know how to lighten the mood.

Breaks from dialogue were executed well by all and acted as much needed pauses which heightened focus on the character’s movements and physical expressions. Lorna Beal’s portrayal of a jittery and slightly ignorant Phoebe was very well maintained throughout the performance. Overall I thought that each character was well-defined and all added something unique.

Image credits: Andreas Marcou

For me however Charlie Beevers’ performance as Jones is the standout. His quick-witted retaliations against ‘wanna-be’ leader Jared (Sam Mandhi-Gomi ) and exaggerated body language reminds me of a stubborn and melodramatic child who is easily angered when things do not go his way. Coupled with the sarcastic and bossy nature of character Mel (Martha Alexander), this performance really does give sibling-like vengeance to an already humorous play.

Performed in the Corpus Playroom, this whirlwind of political humour will certainly help leave the stress and struggles of monotonous lectures and supervisions behind. Be prepared to be drawn into the witty-comments and snarky remarks from the characters and find yourself laughing with them. At just under an hour, this play may be short, but will leave you wanting more.

If you’re a fan of comedy, this production is definitely worth a watch. Tom Barry’s and his Assistant Directors’ (Andreas Marcou and Blake Garance) take on the play really does give light to the monotonous topic of politics. So what if the story line is simple and somewhat sensitive? After all isn’t that what politics is about? But whilst this lot may be too politically ignorant to run the country, after the applause they got on opening night, they certainly get the audiences’ vote.

4.5/5